Ode to Receiving Letters in the Mail


It is hard to say
whether I am crazy
or if it is simply
impeccable timing
whenever I appear
at the dented mailbox
seconds before the postman
pulls up and stuffs 
a bouquet of letters 
into my hungry hands
as I mumble thankyousir 
and turn heel
up the porch steps
with those envelope corners
trying to flap like handkerchiefs
and my eyes watering
under the white sunlight
as I squint at the postmarked 
lines like they’re some 
familiar face peering 
through a tinted window
or like the slant of shadows
filtering through  
the neighbor’s fence, only
the lines are darker
and more like persistent 
black strokes on canvas 
that remind me of how
Theo van Gogh kept every one
of his brother’s letters and how
on one particular night
the Rhone conversed with the stars
across its rippling water
and how the fibers of 
the cypress trees in Starry Night
could have been used to make 

the rickety easel that 
Vincent painted on, and with
all this in mind
I poke my index finger
through the slim fold 
of the first envelope 
and as I remove the shell 
from its letter, the words sweep 
the page like waves 
reaching toward 
an old shore.



(© Phoebe Pan 2016)